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Food & Recipes

The Best Way to Reheat Nachos So They Heat Up Crispy and Delicious

Plus, a 'Top Chef' reveals how you can turn those leftover nachos into a delicious Mexican breakfast

An old friend just called and said she’s in town for the night and would love to stop by and, oh, by the way she’s starving! All you have to feed her? A plate of nachos left over from the night before. You’re eager to catch up but would rather not do it over a plate of soggy chips. Fortunately, reheating nachos that taste like they just came out of the oven — fresh and crispy — is relatively simple. And whether you’re wondering how to reheat nachos fast, best or tastiest, we’ve got you covered. By following one of the four methods we describe below, you’ll be able to enjoy a tasty plate of “new” nachos with an old friend in no time!

How to reheat nachos in the oven: the best method

You can’t go wrong with a mile-high plate of nachos. Chips, cheese, sour cream, beef, salsa, the list goes on and on — nachos make a great meal or snack any time of the day. But if you have leftovers, do you know how to reheat nachos with toppings? While there are several ways to reheat leftover nachos, the oven is your best bet as you can evenly heat a large batch at once.

Crucial step it’s easy to forget: Make sure to scoop off any cold toppings (i.e., sour cream, salsa, lettuce, etc.) that you don’t want to heat up before you pop the plate in the oven.

To reheat nachos in the oven so they’re crispy and cheesy, follow these steps from Jessica Randhawa, recipe creator behind The Forked Spoon.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. 
  2. Spread the nachos out on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. 
  3. If desired, sprinkle a small handful of cheese on top of the nachos. Randhawa explains that “adding a bit of extra cheese before reheating can help revive them, but they may still not be as crispy as when first made.”
  4. Bake the nachos for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chips are crispy. Keep a close eye on them to avoid burning. 
  5. Take the nachos out and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Enjoy!

How to reheat nachos in a skillet: the fastest method

On those nights when getting home from work happens well after the sun goes down, you need some quick and effective options for dinner. If you have leftover nachos sitting in the refrigerator, then knowing how to reheat nachos in a pan is key.

While the skillet method is not the best way to reheat nachos, it does take a close second to the oven method when it comes to reheating leftover nachos. So, if you simply don’t want to wait for the over to heat up, Randhawa offers these four steps for reheating nachos in a skillet.

  1. Get a skillet big enough to spread out the leftover nachos.
  2. Spread the nachos evenly in the skillet and cover with the lid.
  3. Reheat the leftover nachos for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. This works best on medium-high heat. If you want to make sure they don’t burn, stick to medium heat and check the nachos a few times throughout the process. 
  4. Remove the nachos from the skillet and let them cool off before serving. 

If you have cold toppings on your nachos, you might want to scoop them off before you reheat in the skillet. But if you want to reheat nachos with toppings, feel free to leave them on and then add some sour cream or salsa before you serve your meal.

The skillet is also the “go-to” method if you want to turn your leftover nachos into chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican breakfast dish that includes tortilla chips and eggs. Katsui Tanabe, a Top Chef alum and executive chef of Chicago restaurant Barrio, says this is the best bet when reheating nachos in a skillet. “You can easily do this by adding some oil into the skillet and then on medium or high heat add the nachos and two scrambled eggs,” he says. Cook this dish until the eggs are scrambled and fully cooked.

How to reheat a small amount of nachos in the air fryer

The air fryer also works great for reheating nachos, especially if you only want to heat a small amount. Since air fryers use circulating heat, you can use this method to thoroughly warm up nachos with hearty toppings like beans or meat. Just make sure to scoop off any cold toppings (i.e., sour cream, salsa, lettuce, etc.) that could split or wilt in the appliance. Below, Randhawa shares three steps for reheating nachos in the air fryer.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F. (Click through to learn why preheating your air fryer before using it is a crucial step for crisping up food.)
  2. Spread the nachos in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer. 
  3. Cook the nachos for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the chips are crispy. Keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking. 

How *not* to reheat nachos: in the microwave

When those late-night munchies strike, you might be tempted to grab those leftover nachos and pop them in the microwave. But unless you have a magic trick up your sleeve, reheating nachos in the microwave usually creates a big soggy mess, especially if you’re trying to reheat nachos with sour cream.

But if you have none of the above options and must use the microwave, Tanabe suggests adding more cheese to the nachos to turn them into a casserole served in a bowl. As far as the length of time to leave them in the microwave, Tanabe says he doesn’t have a specific number. “I just watch them in the microwave and when the cheese is melted, they will be ready to go,” he explains. However, you can microwave the nachos on high in 45-second intervals and remove them when they’re fully warmed.

Two nacho recipes worth reheating

Our test kitchen loves nachos — and they have the recipes to prove it. Below, you can find their top two recipes for smoky and hearty nachos that are just as delicious when reheated the next day!

Nachos with spicy guacamole

A plate of nachos
Etorres69/Getty Images

Jazzed-up ready-made guac is the quick secret to this fave!


  • 1 cup store-bought guacamole
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. chopped + ½ cup sliced drained pickled jalapeño peppers
  • 2  plum tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 12 cups tortilla chips, from 13-oz. package
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scallion, chopped


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Mix guacamole, cilantro and 1 Tbs. peppers; reserve. Reserve 1 Tbs. each tomatoes and olives. In 10-inch oven-proof skillet, layer chips, cheese and remaining peppers, tomatoes and olives.
  2. Bake until cheese melts, 10 minutes. Top with yogurt and guacamole. Sprinkle with scallion, reserved tomatoes and olives.

Nachos casserole

Nachos Casserole
Carlo A/Shutterstock

This recipe can be made as as a meat-free option baed on the recipe below, but if you want to make it a meat-based casserole, dice 2 links fully cooked chorizo sausage; layer in baking dish with remaining ingredients — and continue with recipe.


  • 1 avocado
  • 12 cups yellow corn tortilla chips, from 13-oz. package.
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup rinsed, drained, canned dark red kidney beans
  • 2  plum tomatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • ½ cup (¾-inch pieces) yellow pepper
  • 1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • Cilantro and lime wedges (optional)


  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Pit, peel and cut avocado into ¾-inch pieces; reserve. In 10-cup baking dish, layer tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, beans, tomatoes, yellow pepper, olives and red onion.
  2. Bake until cheese is melted and tips of tortilla chips are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Top with reserved avocado. If desired, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.

Looking to enjoy other delicious dishes? Keep reading!

What’s Better Than A Grilled Cheese Sandwich? One That’s Dipped in a Light Batter and Fried, Italian-Style — Delizioso!

Reheating Pizza: The Skillet Trick So Good You’ll Never Use An Oven Again

How to Reheat Burgers so They Taste Like They Just Came Off the Grill

How to Reheat Roasted Vegetables So They’re Crispy Like Before

This Microwave Hack Will Reheat Your Leftovers Much More Evenly — and in Less Time

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